#56 Sharon Kon: Managing Director & Founder of Lovelight Pictures & Little Dumpling Films

Sharon Kon is the founder and managing director of Lovelight Pictures and Little Dumpling Films. Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, she is an award-winning director, producer and marketing strategist. Her passion for pursuing her dreams convinced her to leave her corporate 9 to 5 to launch her own production company. 

Lovelight Pictures is born out of a little girl’s oversized dream that women can become inspirational filmmakers. Lovelight Pictures specializes in narrative, corporate and documentaries films. Meanwhile, at Little Dumpling Films, Sharon and her team help families preserve their baby and family moments that they can cherish forever. Her passion is producing films and videos with not only aesthetic appeal, but also thought-provoking and intelligent storytelling for general audiences. 

She has produced feature films, short films and documentaries, including award-winning films The Father's Love and Ultraviolet, and produced in-house commercials and corporate videos for clients, such as AIG, The Sunshine Group, Romona Keveza and Rockrose Development. She has also developed, managed and implemented marketing and communication strategies across all media and digital platforms.

What do you consider your top 3 core values and how do they affect how you lead your business?

My top 3 core values are authenticity, love and creativity. 

Authenticity… At a young age, I was always known for my authenticity; for being honest and upright. I think people appreciate the value of authenticity. I found that if people don't have to worry about having to figure out whether a person is being straight and real, it creates a feeling of ease. It allows people to focus on what truly matters. It also allows me to be myself, to be more real and to laugh at life. I have a hard time being surrounded with inauthentic people. I think authenticity cuts out any type of dishonesty or phoniness. I value relationships, and I think all relationships deserve authenticity to thrive. That’s why I constantly remind my team that they need to be authentic in all they do because it’s the only way to gain the trust of clients and build true, long-lasting and authentic relationships.

Love… Love is not a feeling or visceral expression, it is an attitude. It helps to bridge gaps between people of different backgrounds: race, ethnicity, creed or sex.  And it also shapes how people see themselves in conjunction with others. Love is best experienced when it is put into practice with a smile, hug or hello. Nothing quite gets people to trust you in life, and by extension business, like love. Truly loving someone makes them feel valued, appreciated and respected. And who on earth wouldn't want to feel those things.  

Years ago my husband gave me a sign that said, “You are loved.”  I felt this was his way of saying, "Stay in constant reminder of my love."  When people feel loved, truly loved, it breaks down any wall, boundary and barrier. You can sense it when you love someone by doing the smallest things... they crack a smile themselves, they return the hug themselves and they say an even louder hello, at least I'd like to think so. Loving your clients by doing right by them is no different, and to be honest, it shouldn't be different.  What often happens is that as business owners we think about the bottom line because we have to forgetting that the client is human, just like us. Business doesn't eclipse humanity, it is supposed to exude it. That's why I want every client to feel "loved." 

Creativity…  I had a wild imagination as a young child and have always written stories in my journal. I’ve always thought storytelling can impact many lives. But, my struggle was getting people to vibe with my stories. I kept exploring my wild imagination to create creative vibes with anyone close to me. That's why my whole business is based on creativity. Creativity fuels me. I believe that God created us, gave us talents and gifting to use in creative ways to unite people of different backgrounds to spread love to all humanity. Hence, I put creativity at the forefront with every client, helping them tell their best stories to capture the hearts, not just the minds. If you're like me, the mind is temporarily captured until it moves on to something else; however, when the heart is captured it is unwavering.  

When I think about authenticity combined with love and creativity, it serves as my guide to tell stories with the most impact in mind.  

Can you share a time you either thought you failed, or actually did fail? How did you react and move past it, and what impact did it have on business decisions?

I made a cold call to a major hospital in New Jersey to speak with their marketing executive.  Although it was difficult to get a meeting scheduled, I finally got my opportunity. I tirelessly prepared for the meeting learning everything I could about the hospital, its business and its ties to the local community. When I went to the meeting, I presented the executive with a plan for expanding the hospital’s digital marketing presence both at the hospital, through digital channel platforms, and print and digital marketing using social media. Feeling very good about my presentation, I quickly learned that the hospital wasn’t yet completely over a failed collaboration for an identical marketing project and wasn’t shy to tell me so. While rejection is tough under any circumstance, it especially stings when you try to convince an individual that you’re different and your talents will transcend their fears if given a chance. Despite my inability to persuade the marketing executive to take a chance on me, I learned that a business cannot be built entirely on my personality or talents.  Instead, clients have to see "the team" and be convinced that you'll properly leverage "the team's" talents and gifting to succeed. I truly believe that if the marketing executive would have seen "the team" behind me from the start she would have reached a much different decision. That day transformed how I viewed my business and it made me want me to build the business with others next to me.

What types of projects do you have coming up that we can look forward to seeing in the future?

A few really exciting projects are coming up. I currently have a film project in discussion. And I’m also co-authoring a book which will be published in 2020. Stay tuned for more.